Ian Tait

Connecting communities

New chair of Delta Chamber of Commerce chair brings extensive background in aboriginal relations.

Despite having retired twice, Ian Tait still holds down four jobs and he volunteers.

One by one, he lays out his four business cards on the table, the first emblazoned with the Delta Chamber of Commerce logo. Tait was named chair of the non-profit association of businesses and community organizations in April, just one month after being declared vice-chair.

“As chair, I’m the chief cheerleader for business in our community. ” says the retired BC Hydro employee, who also managed the company that made 6.8 million Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics commemorative pins.

He says one of the chamber’s latest strategies involves implementing “community action teams” to better represent and advocate the business interests of Ladner, Tsawwassen, Tsawwassen First Nation, North Delta, Annacis Island, Tilbury and the farming community.

As chair, Tait works with the chamber to connect Delta’s home-based businesses, major corporations and mom-and-pop shops, and encourages local companies to source goods and services at home in Delta.

He recently Tweeted: “Put your money where your house is.” In other words, shop locally to support Delta businesses.

He says the best way to keep business thriving is to be a “customer service fanatic.”

“Customer service will allow you to rise above your competitors and it will go a long way towards securing repeat business,” he says. “I am more likely to go to the small business who takes the time to make eye contact when I come in, to issue a greeting, to ask how my day is.”

From his North Delta home, Tait runs Tait Consulting Ltd., which helps organizations, businesses and individuals build relationships with First Nations and aboriginal people. It’s a field he got into after working in aboriginal relations at BC Hydro.

“People don’t know what they don’t know. They’re quick to assume and there’s a big gap in understanding and awareness between the aboriginal community and the wider community.”

In 1996, in recognition of his work with First Nations across B.C., the Squamish Nation gave Tait an honourary name, stél’mexw siiyá’y, which means “friend of the people.”

Since joining the chamber, Tait has started networking with Chris Hartman, CEO of the TFN Economic Development Corporation.

“We’re looking for that open relationship and sharing information and interests,” Tait says.

Another of his duties is co-chairing the Feed the Bees campaign, a partnership between the Earthwise Society and chamber, which encourages residents, organizations and businesses to plant bee-friendly gardens. Tait says there’s a strong economic driver behind increasing the local supply of pollen and nectar, since one out of every three spoonfuls of food we consume depends on a bee or pollinator. A die off of bees could devastate the local agricultural industry.

To learn more about the Delta Chamber of Commerce or to become a member, visit www.deltachamber.ca.

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

IHIT identifies victim in Surrey shooting homicide

Pritpal Singh, 21, was shot and killed outside of a Surrey home, police say

Cloverdale high school teacher chats about teaching and life during the COVID-19 crisis

Surrey’s Walter van Halst sits down for an informal ‘virtual’ coffee to discuss education’s current new reality

Celebrating Easter in Surrey, during COVID-19

Surrey’s Christian churches rise to the occasion, despite Coronavirus challenges

33-storey Whalley highrise, first of three phases, moves to public hearing

Councillors raise concerns about school overcrowding, green roofs

COVID-19 death toll reaches 50 in B.C., while daily case count steadies

B.C. records 34 new cases in the province, bringing total active confirmed cases to 462

Cancellations of plant orders prompt advent of pop-up garden shops

A Langley nursery is partnering with local eateries to sell 40 acres of veggie plants and flowers

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Reality TV show about bodybuilders still filming in Okanagan, amid COVID-19

Five bodybuilders from across the country flew to Kelowna to move into a house for a reality TV show

B.C.’s top doctor details prescription for safe long weekend

Yes, it includes hosting an online cooking show

BC SPCA seeks help for abandoned German shepherd puppies

Donations have ‘petered out’ as doors are closed due to COVID-19

Researchers to study whether plasma of recovered patients can treat COVID-19

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood that contains the antibodies that protect against illness

Most Read